Saturday, July 15, 2017

Now, Uttar Pradesh Dalits to send one lakh soap tablets to Adityanath to help clean up his "untouchability mindset"

Dalit meet near Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
Taking a cue from the controversial decision of Gujarat’s largest Dalit rights civil group, Navsarjan Trust, to hand over 125-kg soap to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, senior Uttar Pradesh Dalit activists are all set to send across one lakh soap tablets to Adityanath to “clean up” his mind up which is allegedly rooted in untouchability.
Addressing a well-attended Dalit meet at the Dalit Shakit Kendra (DSK), technical training institute run by Navsarjan Trust founder Martin Macwan near Ahmedabad, Kuldip Kumar Baudh of the Bundelkhand Dalit Adhikar Sangh (BDAS) announced that Dalits across Uttar Pradesh have been “sounded” to begin sending soap tablets.
Baudh was one of the seven Dalit activists who were arrested at Lucknow Press Club on July 3 following their announcement to meet media to protest against the detention of 45 Gujarat Dalits a day earlier at Jhansi Railway Station. The Gujarat Dalits, who were carrying the 125-kg soap by Sabarmati Express, were offloaded, detained and sent back to Ahmedabad.
Baudh told the 2,500-strong Dalit gathering, called to take the untouchability issue to a new peak, “The 125-kg soap is now with the Uttar Pradesh police. Let it hand it over the soap to Adityanath to clean himself up for the next five years using this soap. We have now decided to continue out campaign by sending 1 lakh soaps to him now.”
Kuldip Kumar Baudh

Prominent Uttar Pradesh Dalit rights leaders who were arrested along with Baudh at Lucknow Press Club were Ram Kumar, head of the Dynamic Action Group, and SR Darapuri, a former IPS officer associated with the Budelkhand Dalit Sena. The arrest took place despite the fact a prior permission by Darapuri to meet the media.
Baudh said, “We admire the courage of Gujarat Dalits’ idea to plan the delivery of the 125-kg soap to Adityanath in protest against the UP chief minister officials handing over soaps, shampoos and other toiletries to Dalits in Kushinagar May this year, asking them to come clean before meeting the chief minister, who was visiting the town.”
The DSK Dalit, held with the participation of two local Dalit leaders from Gujarat’s 1,000 villages, where Navsarjan has base, heard testimony from representatives of two dozen villagers from as many districts, all of whom said untouchability hasn’t been abolished, even though its form may have changed. Dalit representatives from a dozen Indian states also gave similar testimonies.
Attended by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of India’s Dalit icon Dr BR Ambadkar, Macwan told the DSK meet that Navsarjan has decided to hand over a large-sized “supdu” – winnowing basket used by Dalits to clean up dirt – to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on August 4, asking him to declare at least one village untouchability free during his Independence Day address.
“We will also present Rupani a 125-feet long national flag – to mark the 125 year birth anniversary year of Dr Ambedkar – to Rupani, woven by Dalits by hand. All of Khadi clothe is woven by hand by Dalits. The national flag would remind the Gujarat chief minister that Ashok chakra, a symbol of Buddha’s message of equality”, Macwan said, adding, “Our challenge is to elected representatives to declare India untouchability free by 2047, when India would celebrate the 100th anniversary of Independence.
A cop takes possession of the 125-kg soap from Gujarat Dalits
Addressing the Dalit meet, Uttam Parmar, a Dalit rights leader from South Gujarat, warned the Dalits that their fight against untouchability would have little meaning unless they shed caste discrimination which even today exists among Dalits. “We are divided between Rohits, Vankars, Valmikis. When will we sit together as Dalits?”, he wondered.
Prakash Ambedkar exhorted Dalits never sell their votes during elections. “We must vow to vote for only those candidates who in their deed have fought untouchability”, he said, adding, “The only party which believes in caste system to be kept intact in the BJP. I exhort you not to vote for it at all.”

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